This group of badges is a memento of Isla Shilton's extensive involvement in the Women’s Agricultural Bureau and with the Associated Country Women of the World.
Isla Milne Shilton OAM (nee Grant) was born in Adelaide in 1922 and went to live from a few weeks of age with her parents on their farm at Sandalwood in the mallee region of South Australia. From an early age Isla was involved in the work and life of the farm and in 1942 she married a farmer from the same region, John (Jack) Shilton. Jack was a machine gunner during the Second World War and headed overseas soon after their wedding. They got their honeymoon in 1944 when Jack had two weeks leave. The first of their five children was born in April 1945, while Jack was still on active service, and until his discharge late in 1945 Isla lived between the Shilton family and the Grant family farms with their baby son.
Isla joined the Sandalwood branch of the Women’s Agricultural Bureau (WAB) in the early 1950s and remained an active member of WAB for more than 50 years, holding executive positions, serving as a councillor on the state WAB and attending annual conferences. She was also active in the organisation Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW).
Following Jack’s death in 1976 Isla left the farm at Sandalwood but remained living regionally and continued her long and dedicated involvement with the WAB and the ACWW. She attended and spoke at conferences, including international events in, among other places, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands. She was awarded a Japan-Australia Foundation grant in 1981 and spoke about her experiences there at Women’s Agricultural Bureau conferences.
Isla died in 2015 aged 93.
Isla collected many badges over the course of her long involvement with country women’s organisations and the Agricultural Bureau. She was a life member of the Agricultural Bureau, The Women’s Agricultural Bureau and was a member of the latter organisation for more than 50 years.
A group of seven badges belonging to Isla Shilton They have been pinned or sewn to a ribbon and appear to have been worn together as they are hanging below a name plate. The badges are:
- Life Member The Agricultural Bureau of SA
- 50 years bar and life member badge for the Women’s Agricultural Bureau of SA
- Badge for the Rural Improvement Club 1934-1984
- Forward Together ACWW 1930-1980 (Associated Country Women of the World)
- FWIC (Federation of Women’s Institutes) ACWW
- Wiltshire Federation WI